In the wake of the monstrous street assassination and beheading of secondary school teacher, Samuel Paty, in the town of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine at the hands of a Salafi extremist, the leadership of the Sudan Liberation Movement expresses its heartfelt condolences to Paty’s family, his students, the good people of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine and the French people and the French nation as a whole, as France mourns and reels from this latest, nihilist and inexcusable outrage on its soil. We share your sense of dismay, shock and righteous anger over this reprehensible killing of an innocent, and also offer praise for the swift and resolute action taken by French police to neutralize the hardline Islamist terrorist, who posed an active danger to them and the public. Tactical necessity and public safety merited the perpetrator of this heinous crime, being subjected to lethal intervention by law enforcement.
When the French state above and beyond all other nations in the international community has not turned its back to the Sudanese freedom struggle and in particular the suffering of the ongoing, genocide in Darfur, sadly muted by the bulk of the global press, and has long given sanctuary to core members of the leadership of the SLM/A-AW and many Sudanese refugees fleeing Islamist persecution and generational, chauvinist Arabist on Black Apartheid, that is the root cause for the mass murder and enduring marginalization of our people, we would be poor friends indeed, not to express our solidarity to our French brothers and sisters, that have long shown us their generosity of spirit and shared belief in pluralist democracy, we still struggle to achieve in Sudan, where France, is precisely a prime example of a free society we seek to emulate on your model.
But we have never failed to extend our empathy to France when her citizens have fallen prey to vicious, Salafi terrorism, as we also too often bury our own dear family members and friends, subject to the same dehumanization and brutality. We know that every human being sheds the same tears when murderous terrorism is inflicted on the defenseless and so we will not fail to ever recognize your grief, when we must in all decency extend our embrace to you, as you bury one more victim of Salafi zealotry. When France is a key leader of the Free World and one of the great mothers of all democracies since 1789, we lament that this incident will likely play into the hands of far-right extremists in France, intent on polarizing society and bringing forth a claustrophobic vision for France, not in keeping with the transcendent and noblest, humanist values of French society, and stir greater xenophobia, ultra-nationalism and intolerance, targeting and demonizing, law abiding, loyal French citizens of Muslim origin and migrants fleeing war and terror in your midst, including our own, because of this reprehensible tragedy.
Without any condescension and without minimizing the horror that took place in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, we should like to elucidate that the bulk of the victims of Salafi extremism are not Westerners but rational Muslims themselves from Darfur, to the Hindu Kush and the bulk of the soldiers, policemen, civilian activists and freedom fighters holding the line and sacrificing their lives to contain and defeat, the tidal wave of radical, militant Wahhabi pathology, are Muslims that seek to coexist peacefully with all cultures and peoples, so long as they are not hateful or racist.
The SLM/A-AW is primarily composed of Sufi Muslims, as well as Kujur Animists and minority Christians, and we strive together to build a secularist, democratic society in Sudan, where the equality and absence of sectarianism or racism, will be grounded in what a great liberator once stated should be “unity in diversity,” and “diversity in unity.” Learned Frenchmen will be aware that Sufism is the bipolar spiritual opposite of Salafi madness, where Sufis like us believe in the fraternity of not only all Muslims but also all Christians and Jews, as common children of Abraham, but further in our ecumenical prism, all peoples of all faiths, that do not degenerate to violent hatred. As one of the greatest Sufi mystics and poets of all time once eloquently wrote of the divine: “Everyone has a way with the mystery.” We share this belief and because of it we also will not tolerate Anti-Semitism or Anti-Christian prejudice, so common to Salafism, and we regard Western Civilization as our natural ally in a fraternal spirit, even more so France in all her glory and seminal contribution to human cultural patrimony, that also gave us shelter.
It is most unfortunate the Salafi terrorist that raised his bloody knife against Samuel Paty, was of Chechen origin, when France also gave him sanctuary and other Chechens fleeing Russian oppression and the brutal rule of Quisling despot and sociopath, Ramzan Kadyrov.
Nonetheless, there can never be any moral equivocation or deflection when the barbarism of terrorism is unleashed, it is always and ever will be unacceptable, no matter what cynical rationale is issued. We unreservedly feel empathy for all the oppressed peoples of the world, as we know their condition and suffering from our own painful experience. In an incomplete list, from the Uighurs in Chinese concentration camps, to the Rohingya fleeing pogroms in Myanmar living in desperate conditions in Bangladeshi refugee camps, not unlike our own wretched millions of forcibly displaced people endure, to the indigenous people of Brazil facing the newest, genocide on earth, as the Amazonian rainforest burns in a man-made eco-apocalypse, we do not avert our eyes or close our hearts to the living hell they face.
But to take an innocent life citing a universal God of peace, compassion and love, as cause for murder, is inadequately described as grotesque. Thus our hearts are fully with the people of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine and all French men and women that recoil from this foul and evil act of terror. We stand with France and we trust that innocent French Muslims and Muslim refugees on her shores will not now become subjected to unjust scapegoating for the descent into barbarism by a misguided murderer and the few that abetted his savagery. We urge France to remember that her most decorated regiment in the Great War was one of Algerian Tiralleurs and how until late into the Second World War, the bulk of the fighting strength of Free French Forces was composed of Muslim soldiers from North and West Africa, alongside the significant contribution of many exiled Spanish Republicans both in uniform and as Maquisards and numerous European refugees in the French resistance, that stood against Vichy and Nazism.
We hold a deep love and admiration for France and we unequivocally support your tireless efforts and the sacrifice of your brave soldiers to contain the scourge of Salafism in the Sahel, in Operation Barkhane, as we commit to renewing our alliance with France and deepening our fraternal bond, when the shining moment of liberation and true democracy comes to our own nation. We wish you peace, healing and the strengthening of your own civil society and rededication of your eternal and finest, civic principles of fairness and justice, as you mourn a new casualty in the freedom of expression, who fell cruelly as he upheld the light of reason and died a martyr for democracy. So we hold him, his family and all of you in our prayers. God bless you, Samuel Paty, you did not merit your fate, but your eternal rest is pure unlike your killer. VIVE LA FRANCE! LIBERTE, EGALITE, FRATERNITE.
With the utmost respect, solidarity, regret and condolences for your grave loss, we offer all the people of France, a fraternal embrace in this sad moment.
Abdul Wahid al Nur
Chairman, Sudan Liberation Movement and Commander in Chief, Sudan Liberation Army.